Business Article: Creative Connections by Susan Robertson

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Great Connections

Shopping as we know it has totally transformed over the last few years. With the rise of online, and out of town retail parks, the high street really took a beating, but with many of us bored and disillusioned by soulless supermarkets and chain stores, there’s a resurgence of the realisation that we really must buy local and explore the unique offerings right on our doorstep. 

These changes in the landscape have given rise to more creative approaches to retail and the West End has a rich and diverse range of retailers who are changing the shape of how we define shopping. One of the key fresh approaches in the retail industry is towards collaboration amongst artists, designers and retailers. There’s such a great logic to this type of connected thinking and it benefits everyone. 

Interiors and fashion offer great scope for this as they access visions, trends, moods that have multiple applications and offshoots. So, for example, if you’re having a whole new interior designed for your home, where do you go to source the accessories that the designers seem to know about? How can you find great local artists and creatives, as well as the expertise to help you put it all together? 

Two great examples of stores thinking expansively and creatively can be found on Great Western Road – Amaryllis and Parkhaus Interiors. I spoke to them both to find out more. 

Lynn Gilfillan of Amaryllis told me what to expect in her store. She said it is: “a luxury design-led concept store, offering a thoughtfully curated combination of designer homewares, fashion and accessories to create a dynamic, welcoming and relaxed space for all customers.”

She explained that here you can find glam luxe pottery, artistic lighting, decorative objects and unique table top accessories; iconic stand-out pieces from Jonathan Adler. Dutch and Danish brands Pols Potten and HK Living offer a high-quality collection of lighting, tables, chairs and accessories and striking and vibrant textiles including marbled velvet cushions and lampshades by talented designer Susi Bellamy gives a bold colourful contrast to the sleek Scandinavian furniture. 

But as well as buying for your home, you can also browse for yourself with a range of fashion, from labels Baum und Pferdgarten, Gestuz both from Copenhagen, Parisian label MKT and Fabienne Chapot from Amsterdam to name a few. 

Lynn is also continuously expanding her offering of home-grown Scottish talent, and Amaryllis is a proud stockist of Eribé, an award winning Scottish knitwear designer. Selling an innovative, contemporary collection of jumpers, cardigans, hats, scarves and gloves. 

To top it all off you will also find unique gifts and accessories including handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces by Anna Beck, as well as hand-poured luxury candles, and artistic cards. 

Lynn’s creative collaboration with her lifelong friend, interior designer Lisa Trainer at Red Door, has been a great source of inspiration for them both. After a huge success transforming Lynn’s apartment, Lisa was also able to bring Lynn’s interior vision to life in Amaryllis too, providing the ideal backdrop to express her personality and display her merchandise. Lisa’s passion for highlighting local and unique artists and creatives in her work was well aligned with Lynn’s bringing great shared expertise and a winning team.

Lynn said: “Collaborations bring specialists together to create strong dynamic partnerships which enhance and combine ideas to present exclusive brands – all with an individual, interesting story to tell.”

This store is relatively new but Lynn has a wealth of experience in the business with a retail portfolio and a renowned shop in Helensburgh. She has really enjoyed getting to know her new customers and been humbled by their welcome. She describes Great Western Road as “fast becoming a destination ‘hot spot’ for independent boutiques like Amaryllis.” 

Just along the road, Scott at Parkhaus Interiors has been a fixture on Great Western Road for a couple of years now. He offers a one-stop-shop interiors studio that is thoughtfully designed to feel warm and welcoming. There are five room setups to showcase different room options in a relaxed way. 

Scott said: “We’ve incorporated some really lovely pieces into the displays from some local business people including Terrariums from Becky at Little Wild Things, candles from Lorraine at Gold Hart Scotland, and fabric and wallcovering from Iona at Iona Crawford Atelier. I feel strongly about supporting other small local businesses, giving people a platform and showcasing some of the great talent and creativity we have in this city.”

The studio also showcases the kitchen collection by Keller, a Dutch manufacturer who have been manufacturing kitchens since 1946. Scott told me: “There is a comprehensive collection of kitchen styles from true handle-less, sleek modern timbers to traditional shaker styles. Sitting alongside we have our home interiors and lifestyle furniture from Pianca, and a gorgeous collection of contemporary furniture for living and sleeping spaces.”

They also showcase wall coverings from Tektura, Newmor & Designers Guild along with paint by Craig & Rose, (who have supplied the paint for the forth rail bridge since it was constructed).

Scott is also an advocate for working with fellow designers, he said: “Collaboration is really important, not only to support other designers but also to open up a huge range of services, knowledge and expertise to our clients. Collaboration brings new ideas to the table, inspires and adds to the creative process ultimately resulting in a cohesive scheme which is rigorously considered, well specified and reflects the client’s personality and style.”

So it really is a win-win for the designers, artists and retailers to be working together. Not only does it help showcase their products and services, but it’s also great for us consumers as we get access to a unique and diverse range of expertise and products we would likely never find ourselves, and a unique experience to boot.   

Parkhaus Interiors hosts various events throughout the year, from cooking to colour, there are plenty of inspiring themes to give you food for thought. Topped off with their 

Summer Soirée in July and the Winter Hygge event in December. Scott said: “We invite clients old and new, colleagues and friends to join us for drinks and canapés as a way of keeping in touch and to say thank you. It’s also an opportunity for our clients to meet with the designers we work alongside, to have a chat to the person who designed their wall coverings or fabrics and it’s a nice way to let our hair down before the holidays. These events are always really busy and great fun.”

So, if you are down in that area, pop in and make sure you’re on the next invite list. If you need any more reasons, Scott encapsulates it well in saying that “Great Western Road is a destination. It has a great collection of design-led stores and studios, from kitchens to cushions and everything in between. This gem of a street is the perfect place to visit when thinking about a home project. Clients can spend the day visiting various design studios, stop for coffee or lunch on the way and finish with a glass of wine and a bag full of inspiration at the other end.

Well that certainly sounds good to me!

Amaryllis West End, 687 Great Western Road, 0141 387 8495

Follow on Facebook/Instagram @amaryllis_westend

Parkhaus Interiors,  87 Great Western Road, 0141 332 5084,  home@parkhausinteriors.com

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